Raileasy.com is a well-established online booking site for trains and other linked transport embracing ferries, buses, metros and the London underground. The company also offers an online booking facility for accommodation, including hotels and guest houses, enabling its customers to benefit from one-stop shopping for daytrips, holidays and business travel.
The most critical factor for a website like Raileasy is always being there when it’s needed, regardless of the time of day or level of online traffic. Michael Page is the IT Manager, “When the company was first set up, we relied on co-located servers run out of a small hosting company. As the public became more and more confident with online bookings and aware of the level of savings that could be achieved, we found that our setup was being pushed to its limits and we were in imminent danger of failing just as the business took off.”Security and compliance
Mike added, “As IT professionals, we were already well aware of a number of good managed hosting companies on the market, and made the decision to outsource all of our hosting requirements to a third party. This move was further necessitated by a number of factors; the need to be PCI compliant being essential – online bookings accepting card payments required levels of security that would be hard to replicate outside the very secure environments of top-level managed hosting specialists. Additionally, we had to offer a 24/7/365 service to our clients and our hosting support had to be available on the same basis. For this we required very rapid, high-level technical support from experienced technicians capable of resolving a variety of problems both quickly and efficiently.”Unwanted assets
“As a small company,” revealed Mike, “we could neither afford, nor wished for the responsibility of funding, owning and managing a large, airconditioned computer room full of hardware, let alone provide a fullymanned, 24-hour shift to handle patching, support and maintenance for attention-hungry servers.”Outsourcing – easy and obvious
Mike said, “The company’s decision to outsource was easy and obvious, and after some in-depth research, the best choice of partner was revealed to be Rackspace® Hosting – a world-wide hosting company with full PCI compliance accreditation, 24/7/365 Fanatical Support® and guaranteed 100% network uptime combined with 1-hour hardware replacementamong other claims to fame.”Technical help for setup
Mike went on to say, “From the very outset, the Rackspace technical specialists helped us specify our system to meet critical traffic levels and implement everything to facilitate linking to the many independent databases from which we pull booking information. The resulting hosted package is quite complex; five collocated devices through which we communicate with other databases, three routers, four web servers, six database servers, two application servers and a further eight virtual machines for all our test and development. A storage area network (SAN) completes the picture with four load balancers and dual firewalls to secure everything. Rackspace supports the entire system and is on hand 24-hours a day to guarantee full protection and uptime.”Support that makes life easier
Michael Page summarised, “We have been delighted with the levels of support and service received from Rackspace. I would certainly recommend them as the ideal hosting partner to any company who relies solely on their website for business. In addition”, said Mike, “we work alongside other specialist IT system development providers, and it is very important that they can relate to the Rackspace team as they work on our behalf.”Independent advice
Andy Allan is from Fuzzy Orange, an independent Software Developer and application support company, specialising in ColdFusion. “We have worked closely with the Rackspace team to provide application level support for Raileasy. Much of their complex website is written in ColdFusion on a Java platform, and we are always fine tuning the system to achieve the absolute maximum from the site. Such a process would be impossible without the 24-hour support of Rackspace and the inherent stability of the platform. I seriously doubt that the current Raileasy website could exist in any other iteration.”Travelling to the cloud
Andy went on to say, “The shift towards ticket booking via smartphones has made site uptime even more critical, and we are currently discussing the use of the Rackspace Cloud to fulfil any online enquiries that are not directly linked to actual ticket booking and payment. In the course of our relationship with the Rackspace team we have discovered that Rackspace offers the RackConnect® solution, which would enable us to combine a lower-cost cloud solution with PCI-compliant, secure-payment servers. This would also save money for the client on software licences, as cloud versions are cheaper.” Andy concluded, “We have worked with many different hosting partners, but Rackspace stands head and shoulders above them all for its sheer attention to detail and genuine Fanatical Support®.” Further information on Fuzzy Orange can be found at their website www.fuzzyorange.co.uk.Raileasy rider
If you would like to know more about Raileasy.com, visit the website at www.raileasy.com, where you can cost out travel in and around the UK and Europe, including trains, ferries, accommodation, metros, buses and tubes. Bookings can be made up to 12-weeks in advance, saving as much as 80% on standard fares.
If you are relying on a website for your business then why not have a FREE and friendly chat with the Rackspace team 0800 988 0100 about the latest developments in hosting technology, including managed cloud and hybrid cloud applications. Visit the website at www.rackspace.co.uk.